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Linguistics Department Summer 2023 Round-Up

This past summer, Linguistics faculty and students represented UGA at several conferences. We are excited about all of the phenomenal research taking place in the department, and we would like to take the opportunity to recognize some of the projects that were shared with other researchers across the world over the summer.

Several people sit around three circular tables squeezed together in a restaurant. There is an orange coffee counter to the right of the diners, and there are other people sitting in the background. All of the diners around the tables are facing the camera and smiling. Dr. Keith Langston sits on the left back of the picture.
Dr. Keith Langston dines with other workshop participants at the University of Rijeka.

In June, as part of the NSF-funded project “Endangered languages in contact in Istria and Kvarner, Croatia (ELIC)”, Department Head Dr. Keith Langston and co-PI Dr. Zvjezdana Vrzić (NYU) led two workshops in Croatia at the University of Rijeka and University of Pula, assisted by project collaborators Dr. Silvana Vranić (University of Rijeka) and Dr. Ivana Lalli-Paćelat (University of Pula). The project aims to create an online spoken corpus of four endangered language varieties found in a particular region of Croatia: Čakavian (Slavic) and Istriot, Istro-Romanian, and Istro-Venetian (Romance). 

Researchers workshop together in a classroom.
Researchers workshop together in a classroom at the University of Rijeka.

The workshops facilitated discussion about the system of transcription and annotation currently used in the project. 

Research team members were also able to consult with one another about their individual transcriptions. Currently, researchers and assistants are primarily focused on processing recently collected Čakavian and Istro-Venetian interviews. More information on the workshops can be found here on Dr. Langston’s website.

Dr. Renwick presents before the audience at the Université de Paris.
Dr. Margaret Renwick presents her research on Italian mid-vowels before conference-goers in Paris.

Also in June, Dr. Margaret Renwick presented at the 53rd Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages in Paris, France. She opened Workshop 2: Phonetics and phonology in Romance and beyond with a presentation on Italian phonology, titled “Impacts of structure, usage, and phonetics on Italian mid vowels”. Dr. Renwick’s abstract can be found here

Dr. Jared Klein attended the 42nd East Coast Indo European Conference at UNC Chapel Hill, giving a presentation on Classical Armenian titled “The discourse role of Classical Armenian isk in comparative perspective”. The paper presented is a continuation of his work on the discourse structure of the Greek Gospels and their three oldest Indo-European translations into Classical Armenian, Gothic, and Old Church Slavic. The Classical Armenian field of adversative conjunction (exceptive, substitutive, oppositive, disruptive) involves three primary items: aył, bayc‘, and isk. The first two of these have their home domain in the area of exceptive and disruptive, whereas isk is oppositive, meaning that it may signal both adversative (‘but’) and unitive (‘and’) conjunction, paralleling in this regard Old Church Slavic a and že and Gothic iþ and akei. However, isk is bifurcated into two separate employments, which correlate with its syntactic position. It is only when it appears in initial position in its clause that isk possesses oppositive conjunctive value. In just over a third of its appearances, isk serves as a word-level emphatic particle, apparently cliticizing to the word it emphasizes. The circumstance of an oppositive conjunction serving also as an emphatic particle is unique to Classical Armenian, not being found in the Greek exemplar or any of its other first millennium CE translations, although its twofold positional employment is shared by several discourse articulators in Gothic. Further information on Dr. Klein’s research can be found on his faculty page.

At the beginning of July, Dr. Chad Howe attended the twelfth international Corpus Linguistics conference at Lancaster University. He presented “Super as a crosslinguistic intensifier” with Linguistics Department alumni and current UGA DigiLab associates Camila Lívio Emidio and Katherine Ireland. Dr. Howe also gave a solo presentation titled “Uncovering indigeneity in a corpus of colonial Quechua”. Abstracts and conference information can be found here

Dr. Vera Lee-Schoenfeld and Ph.D. candidate Jean Costa-Silva present before conference attendees.
Dr. Vera Lee-Schoenfeld and Ph.D. candidate Jean Costa-Silva present before conference attendees.

Dr. Vera Lee-Schoenfeld and doctoral candidate Jean Costa-Silva sparked interest at the 2023 Conference on Scholarly Teaching and SoTL in Linguistics with their presentation about our writing-intensive LING 3150W (Generative Syntax) course, titled “Syntactically branching out beyond the traditional classroom: A report on the Discovery Method”. The presentation included the expectations and outcomes of each stage of their pedagogical principle, the Learning Cycle. Jean and Dr. Schoenfeld included sample material, such as homework problem-sets and rubrics, as well as the results of student-provided feedback to support the success of their Discovery Method. The abstract for Jean and Dr. Schoenfeld’s presentation can be found here




Program held in front of conference hall in BratislavaFinally, Dr. Langston once more represented UGA abroad at the 18th Annual Meeting of the Slavic Linguistics Society, held this August in Bratislava, Slovakia. The presentation, given with Silvana Vranić (University of Rijeka) and Zvjezdana Vrzić (NYU) and titled “Language variation and contact between closely related varieties: Čakavian dialects in the Istria-Kvarner region of Croatia”, discussed the continuing research associated with Dr. Langston’s NSF-funded project on endangered languages in Croatia. Information on the conference and conference abstracts can be found here.  


University Professor, Department Head, Undergraduate Coordinator
Distinguished Research Professor

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